tv Consider This Al Jazeera June 23, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> weekday mornings on al jazeera america >> start your day with in depth coverage from across the country and around the world. >> the future looks uncertain... >> real news keeping you up to date. >> an informed look on the night's events, a smarter start to your day. mornings on al jazeera america >> international outrage as an egyptian judge steps three al jazeera journalists up to 10 years in prison on trumped up charges supported by no evidence. over the next hour, we'll review the decision that has shocked reporters worldwide and reactions from the white house to the united nations in an effort to free the journalists. around the world, including the violent crack downs on journalism from the middle east
to china and mexico. plus, a look at how we're not blameless in the u.s. president obama's aggressive are are attack on are journalists. here's more on what's ahead. >> worldwide outrage today aan egyptian core has are convicted three journalists. >> for doing their job. >> aiding the muslim brotherhood. >> all three of them vehemently deny those charges. >> the white house is condemning the verdicts. >> the prosecution of journalists for reporting, flowts the most basiflouts the .
>> freedom of expression. there are currently 167 journalists in prison around the world. >> what is going on here? what about freedom of the press? >> we begin with the ruling that has outraged journalists and activists around the world. three al jazeera journalists have been convicted in egypt on charges of conspiring with the muslim brotherhood, spreading false news and endangering national security. peter greste, mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed have denied the charges. the three men were sentenced to seven years in prison on those charges. baher mohamed was given an additional three years because of possession of a spent bullet casing he found on the ground. andrew greste was in the courtroom for the verdict.
>> we knew it was a possibility that you just can't prepare yourself no matter how hard you think about it for a verdict like this. >> the united nations called the verdict obscene while the white house called for egyptian government to grant immediate pardons. but the verdict called into question the obama influence in egypt. secretary of state john kerry traveled ocairo sunday and are impressed great support for egyptian prime minister abdel fatah al-sisi. 24 hours later kerry seemed stunned when reacting to the verdict while visiting baghdad. >> today's verdict is a chilling and draconian sentence. it is deeply disturbing to see in the midst of egypt's transition. >> joining us here in new york is sharif mansour, sharif
co-founded the egyptian association for change, a nonprofit that mobilizes egyptians in the u.s., good to see you again. >> same. >> you were convicted for prodramatic activities there. do you have no doubt that the egyptian judiciary is not acting with deliberation? >> this is on journalist related cases that we have seen in egypt. these journalists are part of at least a group of 14 other journalists who remain behind bars without charges, without evidence and some of them have spent as many as ten months without a chance to defend themselves in front of court. there is already another journalist who worked w with the muslim brotherhood, and today there was news of another journalist who was sentenced as
well for their coverage. it is consistent with i think a whole attitude of the government for judiciary, against journalists for just doing their work. >> there are other journalists who are in prison, others tried in absentia. is this a clear message of the people of egypt and journalists that there is simply not going to be any dissent tolerated in egypt? >> absolutely, that is the main purpose, they want to send a message to journalists they should tow the line. narrative of events in egypt, that is a strategy that the regime has indicated, the minute they ousted presidential morsi last year, they shut down at least six tv stations took them off the air and immediately started to enforce a widespread
crack down and censorship effort on both government and nongovernment on media. so it also consisted with their strategy, but also, their vilification campaign. the government has been trying as much as possible to portray al jazeera, other critical voices, of being agents of outside forces who wants to destabilize the country, agents that promote violence, and also, promote terrorism. and that's what the recent situation of this case, that for the first time now, we have that many number of people, including in our count six journalists who have been for the first time accused of terrorism related charges and taking as many as the harsh sentence that we saw up to 10 years. this is unprecedented. >> just for doing their job. as you say there's express
censorship and then this, you send a clear message that if you don't behave yourself in a way that they look you end up with this kind of problem. >> received a message today a letter signed by dozens of news organizations individuals from egypt, cairo, foreign press journalists who are based in cairo, telling us that they were shocked by this. and they wanted solidarity and they warranted to send a -- wanted to send a message to this don't saying, please release those journalists. >> they are certainly getting solidarity from around the world. peter greste is australian. the australian government has complained. one of the other journalists is canadian, the canadian government has complained. the white house, there's outrage from around the world. the problem is, will the egyptian government pay attention to that outrage? >> right now they can't ignore it. right now when we were talking
about press violations, the fact that there wasn't an elected president in power there was a shared responsibility among a lot of actors. but now al-sisi has been elected less than a month ago and he is now at the forefront. he is the one who has been held responsible and he's the one who shakes hand with all those policy makers and international figures around the world who are condemning this attack of the press. so now it's his responsibility -- >> he may not get to shake too many hands if he continues to cause this kind of outrage. and talking about outrage, abdullah al-shami another al jazeera journalist was held in a prison for most of the year, he had been having a hunger strike, and they eventually let him out. reaction to this statement. >> with abdullah al-shami's release last week there was no celebration in the release of a journalist who was innocent and without charming.
there was huge relief. but today, we see a huge injustice, the sentencing for so many years, for journalists who were doing with what? simply the job of being great journalists. >> and we should say that in this case, there was no evidence of any significance that was presented publicly. in fact one of the things they were accusing them of one report that was referred to was the report that was filed when they weren't even in egypt. >> and by other workers by al jazeera. >> they weren't even there. >> that's why everyone was thinking this case is embarrassing the government more than anything else. the more they dragged it on, the more people thought okay it is a matter of time before they shut it down. but the fact there was a conviction is an added like verdict against this government, that they are -- this have no shame first of all. they don't care about their credibility and they are willing to go as far as handing out
these harsh sentences just to get their way with local and international media. >> talk about no shame. this is a statement released monday by the foreign ministry. they said the egyptian foreign ministry strongly rejects any comments from a foreign party, on the justice of its verdicts and that it affirms that any interference in its internal affairs is recorrected and this is what the foreign minister confirmed with contacts with several parties recently. could it be that they don't care that this reflects that badly on egypt? >> i think we'll see how the government reacts. there are opportunities now for government to issue an amnesty, a pardon and accept the appeal. hopefully? they'll do that in a fast manner because the judiciary in egypt is very slow. but at least giving an appeal,
accepted, and until there is an appeal session would be an immediate step to see if they really care about engagement with the outside world and they really think that they should have a credible leader, leading the country. president al-sisi, in his election campaign has said that he wants to reestablish egypt's role and reform the relationship with a lot of leaders of international community. and that's an opportunity. and that's just his first challenge as a president is handling this crisis. it's in his hand. >> and we should say that 183 muslim brotherhood sympathizers were sentenced to death with pretty much summary trials this weekend. so it was not just the journalists who were suffering from pretty quick and questionable justice. sharif, pleasure to have you
with us to share your thoughts. >> thank you for having me. >> turning into the obamas's response to -- obama administration's seven and ten year sentences, despite the harshness of the verdicts, secretary of state john kerry said he hoped there would be response to step in. >> i think it will be critical in terms of the objectives of his presidency for him to move quickly to try to address the international concerns that exist with respect to this kind of a decision. >> for more on u.s. relations with egypt and whether the u.s. can put real pressure on cairo, i'm joined from washington, d.c. by ambassador kurt volker, assistant secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs.
secretary kerry said it was critical to address the circumstances but as far as egypt, the judiciary is independent. what do you think about that? >> he is pursuing a ves deliberate strategy of going after the muslim brotherhood, going after any journalists who would report openly about egypt, particularly those that report on the muslim brotherhood, in order to establish a firm military control and his own control over the government of egypt. he has great popular support in doing so, so he doesn't feel much domestic pressure to change course, and actually the real pressure he feels, is not really putting pressure on egypt economically militarily politically that would cause him to change course. >> get to more of that in a moment. but al-sisi could just pardon
them if he wanted to. >> he could, but he wants the judiciary to play this out. what we've seen is the judiciary playing a role in support of al-sisi and the form he military leader and the current military control over egypt. i think there legitimately was a great concern in egypt over the excesses of the muslim brotherhood and morsi's leadership of the country and we are now seeing a backlash against that. unfortunately it is a backlash that is very repressive and very undemocratic. >> on sunday, secretary kerry confirmed that the u.s. was resuming the $1.3 billion in aid. secretary kerry said i came here to reaffirm the historic partnership between the united states and egypt. the united states remains deeply committed to seeing egypt succeed. but among the aid we're giving them apache helicopters. with that aid and those choppers
did we give away whatever leverage we had? >> unfortunately i think the u.s. is caught in a very difficult position right now. on the one hand we do not want to cut off our relationship with egypt, and by default have egypt develop a relationship with russia and other authoritarian regimes. and have less of a contact than we do today. on the other hand, if you go forward with the relationships, we are telling egyptian forces that we don't care what you do on human rights. what we need to do is have a tougher human rights agenda, and we are willing to step up more pressure and that's not something we've seen. >> how much clout do we have? >> i think we should use those relationships as well. by default as a way of retreating and getting out of the middle east, we've lost influence with the saudi arabia
with turkey with the uae, that the united states is deeply engaged and that makes us a credible pattern with saudi arabia, turk uae qatar and others in trying to create a middle course between really unsavory secular leaders and really unsavory islam u.s. extremists. >> secretary kerry said al-sisi gave him radio strong commitment to the judicial process. this all happened on sunday. it certainly seems meaningless given what happened on monday. so why would al-sisi do that? because in a way isn't it embarrassing secretary kerry? >> i think that's what secretary kerry wanted to hear so that's what al-sisi told hip. the key thing for united states is to look at the actions not the words. and in this case we've seen the actions and then the u.s. actions in response appear to have been fairly benign and i
think that's exactly what al-sisi expected. >> now let's listen to what white house press secretary josh earnest had to say. >> we call on the egyptian government to pardon these individuals or are reduce their sentences. starting with the other defendants in this trial. >> now earnest in those comments was including not just the al jazeera journalists and other journalists who are being held in prison but the thousands of people that the egyptians have thrown into jail for political reasons. by including all of those people en masse did he weaken the case to help the journalists themselves? >> well, no, i don't think so. in fact i think it's good that he raised it. the problem that i see here is that we call upon egypt to do these things but then, what's the consequence if they don't? and that's where i think there ought to be not only a carrot in the form of renewing this aid if egypt does right thing, there
ought to be a sick, that says no we're not going to renew it, we might even increase the amount we hold in reserve, we have seen u.s. policy that is unwilling to yield a stick in that way. >> back in the ways of the cold war, al-sisi has met with vladimir putin. vladimir putin's shadow has seemed to be everywhere. egypt was a soviet clinton during much of the cold war. is al si su playing is united states against russia like the cold war? >> he's clearly trying oplay that middle ground. i think the u.s. needs to call that bluff and say look, you can have a future connected to russia. that's not going to be very productive for egypt or productive for you. or alternatively, you can have a
relationship with us that's based on the right principles. >> ambassadoimor, thank you. let's check in with hermella. >> freeajstaff has been trending. used over 70,000 times on monday alone. journalists are tweeting photos with tapes over their mouths, indicating silencing of journalists across the globe. are in our headquarters doha qatar, al jazeera will be holding a meeting. post your comments using the
hashtag, #freeaj staff. >> where journalistic freedom is a distant dream and going to china and mexico to tell you where reporters are being shut down or even killed. and the u.s. world freedom index plummet in recent years. with joe berlinger >> new york city has stop and frisk >> some say these laws help serve and protect... >> we created the atmosphere that the policeman's the bad guy... >> others say these tactics are racist >> discrimination is wrong >> 99 percent of those arrested in drug free school zones... we're not near a school at all! >> are they working? >> this time i'm gonna fight it. >> the system with joe burlinger only on al jazeera america
our journalist beings. in egypt. meantime many journalists face risks in the muslim world. joining us from madrid spain is ahmed ra rasheed. are he is a board member of the committee to protect journalists. it is really a pleasure to have you on the show. thank you for joining us. you have been forced to flee pakistan three times because of death threats from both the taliban and government security forces. what did you publish that made you a target and how have you felt comfortable to be able to return? >> well, it's been be either criticism of the taliban or criticism of the military in
pakistan for intervening in afghanistan and for their policies in afghanistan. which the military obviously didn't like. and it's -- each instance of my departure and return has been very complex negotiations and talks and the engagement of diplomats and officials and the media. and senior journalists in pakistan as well. so it's been complicated. the situation in pakistan is very grim. and what i fear from what this judgment today is that i think what the egyptian president has done is going to encourage a lot of hard line regimes in the broader muslim world to take similar measures. and this is going to be very tragic. >> it's not just the message that's sent by putting people in prison. you're part of a group from the committee to protect journalists that met with pakistan prime minister sharif in march, to get
him to decrease the deteriorating climate for journalists there, but the situation has gotten worse, there's been expulsion of journalists and assassinations, and raza rumi who almost got killed himself. it's not getting any better. >> the promises made by president sharif to us, he made a lot of very serious commitments and promises and they were just not kept. you're absolutely right. i mean in the short span since march the 19th when we met with him, to journalists have been shot and wounded, including reza rumi, one driver was killed, two foreign journalists have been expelled from the country and the largest tv station in the country was taken
off the air for 15 days. now it's allowed back on the air, cable operators are refusing to run it because they're scared of reaction from the government and the military. so the press is in a very, very precarious way at a time when the government and the military needs support from the media because of this offensive that they're carrying on at the moment against the pakistani taliban and estremists. >> let's go across the border. afghanistan just had a election, abdalla abdalla one of the candidates accused the election department of corruption. does the afghan taliban and the afghan government stop the press from doing its job? >> well certainly the afghan taliban have kidnapped held for ransom killed a lot of afghan
journalists and afghanistan is one of the very high risk areas in the world today. but even more than that are the war lords who are allied to the government, or allied to political figures. these war lords are extremely threatening outside kabul and the provinces and the other cities and it's very difficult for journalists, for stringers in the smaller towns and cities, to work, and to report properly without being threatened by the warlord. >> we of course can't forget daniel pearl in that region who got beheaded for just trying to do his job. let's go to another country in the middle east, iran, calling for a social media campaign to demand an end to a five year crack down on the press there that started after protests surrounding the 2009 elections. social media enough, is there anything that can be done to get the conservative liquorics and the revolutionary guard there to loosen control on the press
there? >> i think this is going to be a very big test for new government that's just come in. which is supposed to be a more liberal and a more moderate government and it's most supposed to be more in favor of personal freedom than what we've seen in the past. and clearly freedom of the press is going to be a major issue. at the moment the press is severely restricted. it cannot criticize the islamic republic. it's as simple as that. it can't criticize the constitution. it can't criticize the elections. which were very much a creation of the government and the states itself. and you know, across the muslim world right now i think what we're seeing is immense turmoil and waves of extremism and extremists are taking on local governments. but the reaction of the governments has been to tighten up and omni-press rather than
win the media over to its side rather than perhaps use the media to raise public morale and to become part of this fight against extremism. instead governments are taking on the media and basically trashing them. >> yes, well trashing them and worse of course because you know in iraq according to cpj 100 journalists have been murdered in the past decade. we know a journalist we've had on the show a couple of times was held captive among others. the u.s. is calling on egypt's government to give pardons to the al jazeera journalists who were sentenced on monday. are western governments doing enough to put pressure on some of these middle eastern governments that they might have some influence over to deal with journalists in a normal way?
>> you know, i must be realistic. unfortunately, i don't think so. i think the u.s. and europe are totally obsessed with what's going on in iraq. egypt is one of the lynch pins of western middle east policy. the west is not going to push the egyptian president too far in case he hardens up on other issues. so i fear very much that the -- there will be rhetoric against the measures taken against the al jazeera journalists. but i fear very, very that there's not going to be -- very much that there's not going to be serious sanctions placed on this regime. >> there's certainly a large outcry and let's hope that outcry is heard by western governments. where thank you for your time. straight ahead the issues extend far beyond the middle east and the muslim world.
china has taken increasingly aggressive actions against journalist around the years. from reporters without boarders, 32 journalists are in chinese prisons. meant to stop critical stories even before they're told. news organizations are even forbidden from flishting interviews from outside their specific beats. joining us is gordon chang. who authored the article, tienanmen. could it happen again? we think of china these days, as this growing economy, who has
liberalized, opened its borders, let people come to visit. certainly it's not liberalized when it comes to its media. >> it's worse than before the tienanmen massacre. china under the current ruler has gone under a prolonged attack on civil society. these are really part of his attempt to repress society. so this is not agood sphoirp. >> i mean some of the stuff is -- not a good story. >> we are talking about 250,000 reporters who were forced to take some courses -- >> on marxism. >> on maoism and marxism. >> since the middle or beginning of last year he's really tried to make sure that maoist ideas are learned by everybody including reporters. and that's why we had not only these instructional courses but also an exam that was given to journalists. you can't make this stuff up. >> this is the stuff you expect
at north korea which is at the bottom of the list. this whole thing about the new rules that he's imposed. people can't even initiate critical stories. >> these rules are indeed new but part of a cycle. every two or three years the chinese state will have new rules on journalists. journalists will quo follow ther two ors there months but then go into critical stories because they want to do them and journalists want to tell their stories. what we've seen is these rules have tightened up over time so that the trend line ask down even though there's this cycle. >> china is exploding, it's growth, so much is going on but there's a ton of corruption, ton of pollution. things that need to be brought to people's attention. it's not going to get better if journalists can't bring this to the forefront. >> they need to have more
adjournment because these stories need to be exposed and yet -- journalism. it can no longer neuro no longer lead but one thing it can do is repress. this is the default position of what people can do, not only stamping down on journalists but the rest of society. >> google and youtube and facebook, but news does get out anyway. even with restrictions it's too hard to keep the stuff bottled in. >> you do have social media. but the most important thing is you have the chinese people when really want this, they want a more open society. the chinese government is pressed, where the chinese people are moving forward, the communist party is moving back. i used to live in california and they would call that an earthquake.
>> it's not just chinese reporters. if we look at the kind of pressure that chinese are exerting it is affecting foreign are reporters too. reporting on the wealth of the chinese officials, then we hear that bloomberg pulled back on its coverage on that because it was afraid that the chinese would take reprisals. they blocked the new york times website, they have taken reprisals on the new york times. >> and against al jazeera english. melissa chan who was one of the most well respected reporters in china didn't get her visa renewed. kevin lao was stabbed and almost killed. china put the pressure on big banks not to advertise with apple daily which is a problem tear type of publication, which
goes out very hard hitting. apple daily keeps on coming back because people want this type of coverage. so the communityist -- communist party is on the losing end of this. you look at the tools, they should win but it's society pushing back. >> apple daily have allowed for more freedom in hong kong. they went against apple daily and allegations that apple daily was hacked, to stop banks from advertising with them so there are many ways that the chinese government can press, can pressure the press to not be able -- to do what they want them to do. >> yes but at the end of the day though you have journalists are responding to people in society. so it really means that they will one way or another find one way to get these stories into front of people's eyes if not in publications that are formally authorized by the communist
party. through social media or websites, these stories not only get published in some manner but come back to china. >> put you in the position of a prophet, sit going oget better or worse? >> it's going oget worse. because cijinping has made it clear it's going to get worse. >> thank you. there's no shortage of hot spots for journalists youths asia and the middle east. profiled most of the world's countries. the dark he the color is on the map the worse the situation is. mexico appears in dark red for good reason. from 2000 to last year at least 88 journalists were killed and 18 more went missing. many were the victims of the
drug cartels. this was depicted in the al jazeera documentary killing the message engineer. cartels have so many people placed inside the government. the danger has increa led to ind self-censorship. in this case in georgia: [ bullets. >> luckily no one died in that shooting but its neighbor russia is ranked 148th near the bottom of press freedom, vladimir putin's model of intimidation and crack downs on dissent has been replicated throughout the soviet union. turk anyonmen stan isistan is re
>> see then police are having stones thrown at them by the protestors >> an unpopular uprising... >> these...violations were part of a systematic tactics by venezuelan security forces >> brutal government crack downs >> the amount of anger here, you can see tensions between the two sides... >> is venezuela on the brink? fault lines al jazeera america's >> ground breaking... >> we have to get out of here... award winning investigative documentary series venezuela divided on al jazeera america
>> welcome back to a special edition of "consider this," journalism is not a crime. we have talked about how journalists are under pressure around the world but it's also happening here at home. united states ranks 46th, a drop of 4% from a year ago. the government is withholding information more than at any time in recent memory. how is the country that gave birth to the freedom of the press so far down the list and what could be done to protect freedom of the press in the future? let's bring in pulitzer prize winning journalist david k. johnson, a professor at sir queues university of the law. are david, good to see you as always. >> glad to be here. >> when reporters without
boarderborders compiled that liy have we fallen so quickly? >> we have decided that 9/11, monstrous climb, not military action, military action he are about taking real estate, about giving up our freedoms and we are not held accountable. founders believe very much that government had to be held accountable. this was a well discussed issue at the founding of this country. if you could persuade everybody to be afraid and do what you're told, and just run a government, whether it's the federal state or your local city hall. >> indiana university polling found in 2013 only 57% of journalists endorsed the confidential signing of
documents. journalism should be about speaking truth to power especially when the powers that be don't want to face the truth. so what you raise is important. you know how much of it is a chilling effect that comes from government pressure on reporters and their editors and how much do you think is 9/11 and the change the threats the country faces? >> i think there is a whole mi milieu about this. news organizations as they've had much less money and been much less robust have themselves at the top given signals we don't want to spend money on lawyers, we don't want to be in big necessary fights with people. try to be not so probing about things. and that has an effect. and then unfortunately we've had this terrible change take place, and particularly in washington, where reporters assume conversations are not on the record. they're either on background or they're off the record about.
and government officials particularly with this administration have government officials say well this is on background. i stop them and say, no, the reporter decides whether it is on background. i don't grant that with government officials and we're going to talk on the record. i didn't have that trouble with bush administers, clinton administration, and i can go back to nixon. but with this administration, they say we're not going to answer your questions. >> again journalists from the left and right have criticized the administration like you do. leonard downey session the administration is the most militant since the nixon administration. the most closed control-freak administration that he's ever covered. what do you think are the administration's worst offenses? >> fundamentally they're going after reporters, seeking
telephone records trying oaddress leaks and trying to treat reporters and threatening them under the espionage act which was never designed or intended to address reporters who published their material, it was to deal with spice from foreign countries. at the core of this antonio i think the press people that this administration has hired don't have experience as journalists. they are publicity people. and the old newsroom people saying, if that's what you want go buy an ad. we are not in the publicity business we are in the administration business. get the facts out, instead to make sure the administration looks good and if that means suppressing the truth, so be it. >> bob franken the old cnn reporter talked about how administration doesn't like to have outside photographers at
big event, what he used the word propaganda. the espionage act has been used eight times by the obama administration, three times by the bush administration. reporters have found themselves in the cross hairs of those espionage act prosecution including the associated press getting its phone records looked at. reporters getting their credit card charges loa looked at. the list is long. >> yes. this is not a problem unique to the federal government. we're seeing state governments local governments all over the place playing hide the football, numerous occasions of police officers arresting reports or photographers, standing across the street, exercising their right to see what's going on because the court doesn't want
to have a record of it. what you have in the u.s. is not the kind of brutal let's go out and murder the journalist stuff like we see in russia. you have much more subtle, much like you see in singapore where nobody sees the knife and our democracy is really trettenned by this. if we don't have the means to hold accountable, it becomes a power unto itself. the slowly steady erosion of the rights you're supposed to have under our bill of rights. >> i want to you stick around. coming up we're going owrap up on the consequences for all of us when journalists are silenced. >> hi, i'm david shuster. three of our cliques sentenced to are ten years in egypt.
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>> we're going to wrap up our coverage of the appalling sentences imposed on al jazeera journalists peter greste, mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed, on charges they have denied. reactions have been harsh, particularly in governments where citizens have been jailed. couldn't credit how the court could have reached this conclusion. peter greste is an australian if a national. and canada's ambassador to egypt, david drake told reporters there was no incriminating evidence offered against the defendants, mohamed fahmy has canadian citizenship. the question is, what can be done for journalists here and around the world? david k. johnson and david
keyes, executive director of advancing human rights, helping provide disdents with the technology they need to have their voices heard. david keyes i will again with bh you. this is not a problem in egypt, it's a problem everywhere in the world. we are in worse shape than we have ever been when it comes to journalistic freedom. why. >> because there are regressive forces around the world and tirants are aware of the fact that freedom of speech is not a human right and it's incumbent on the world to stay firm with the principles of basic freedoms, but that requires confronting truly truly regressive regimes whose name of greater ideology which is greater falsehoods. >> we have all these ways of communicating you would think it is impossible that we would be seeing less freedom than in the
past but that is a case. >> technology can help in a degree but when you look at a thee okatheocracy like egypt wee been trying to utilize technology to help disdents. this is a very old problem that is not going to go away. >> david kay, the worldwide reaction condemns the sentences. we have seen brutal crack downs from governments as david keyes said, like iran and nothing seems to change. >> all politics is local and there's a lot of support in egypt a secular country that doesn't want the muslim brotherhood to be in charge. what i find strange about this antonio is that all the government has to do is expel journalists. i mean that's traditionally what happened. government didn't like your reporting and that's basically the issue here.
they don't want honest reporting about what's going on. then you just expel the journalists. you drive them to the airport and say good-bye. and by the way. one other point. this is not a problem in the nordic you countries. press freedom is pretty good in the nordic countries where you have popular support for governments and economic equality. >> the northern european countries, and new zealand. david keyes, what can the u.s. do? we have spoken with ambassador volker that secretary kerry seemed sand bagged what al-sisi did despite the fact that he had just gone there and given them a billion dollars in military aid. >> hundreds of thousands of dollars to the military dictator ship in egypt just one day before these verdicts were brought down. unfortunately we have seen a
pattern of neglecting human rights when it comes to meeting with dictatorships. one of the things my organizations did, is find the names of the streets of the embassies ever dictatorships. including nancy pelosi on the left and senator rubio on the right, the regime got became enraged when we renamed the street of the embassy. given the ruling did it would be an auspicious time in canada and australia where some of the journalists are citizens to begin the process of changing the names of the streets of the embassies to the names of political prisoners. >> david kay there was an al jazeera ad in the new york times yesterday and it was for all practical purposes a full blank page and it says "this is what
happens when you silence journalists. that is the great threat behind all the intimidation and censorship that we will not have reporting of important issues. >> yes. the new opportunities we have in media and through internets while they appear to open things up in many ways don't. governments after all can just pull the plug on these things when they want to. and we need to recognize that if we don't protect the people whose job it is to tell us what our governments and other institutions are doing, that at the end of the day, all of us will suffer, a diminution of our rights and opportunities. and creative ideas like this renaming of streets in front of embassies are one of the many peaceful ways that we can try make sure we don't end up in a society that is orwellian. >> you have heard david kay.
why is this matter, why is it important that journalists have freedom? why does it matter to everybody out there? >> well i think both journalists and distance are often a bellwether, how much that society will promote peace prosperity and stability. if we want to know how much to trust the country on the international stage, look no further than how that country trusts its citizens. iran trying engage in nuclear negotiations, the nature of the regime is very important. this is a regime that is throwing hundreds of thousands of journalists bloggers women's rights activists in prison. it gets to the very heart of the regime. if we want a sane and clear policy, we need to spend time to open closed societies. >> david keyes, good to have you with us. david kay johnson, thank you for
joining us. thank you all for joining us for this special edition, journalism is not a crime. you can continue on the plight of our journalists, aljazeera.com. you can find us on twitter @ajconsiderthis. we'll see you next time. >> hello everybody and welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster in new york. john siegenthaler has the night off. it is 11:00 p.m. on the east coast, 8 p.m. out west. you are watching the only national live newscast at this hour. just ahead. international outrage at egypt sentences three al jazeera journalists to prison. tonight the facts and the fallout on our special report, war on truth. the secret government memo rg